Herb gardens provide seasonings for food, medicine for ailments, and pleasure just from their aroma. Cultivating herbs relaxes the gardener who tends them. These multipurpose plants are easily propagated by rooting cuttings taken in the spring or early fall. Within weeks another plant is ready for the garden or to bring indoors for the winter.
Fill the growing tray or pots with potting soil and create holes about an inch deep using a pencil or straw. The holes should be evenly spaced about 2 inches apart. The pre-formed holes keeps the rooting compound on the cutting instead of brushing it off onto the top of the soil.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of rooting compound onto a paper plate. This is done to keep unknown diseases from spreading to the entire bottle of rooting compound when dipping new cuttings.
Clip or cut 5- to 6-inch cuttings from a healthy herb plant. The bottom of the cutting should contain at least one leaf node (where the stem and leaf connect). The roots of the new plant will form more quickly around a leaf node. Strip any leaves from the bottom inch of the cutting.
Dip the herb cuttings into the rooting compound and stick them about 1 inch into the existing holes. Tamp the soil down gently to ensure no air pockets surround the bottom of the cutting. Mist the cuttings with the spray bottle just until the soil is moist but not wet.
Cover the growing tray with plastic or place the potted cuttings into plastic bags and seal ensuring the plastic is not touching the foliage. Any contact with the plastic may cause the herb cutting to rot instead of grow.
Place the cuttings in a warm sunny location to grow. The herb cuttings can not be placed in direct sunlight as this will cause them to dry out and wilt instead of rooting. Watch the cuttings closely and open the plastic to allow air to circulate during the day. The herb cuttings should root in about 3-7 weeks, depending on the plant.
Remove the herb cuttings from their growing tray and plant in the garden or pot them up. Then take the new herb plants indoors for winter use.